Pirate DVD syndicate bust in South Africa

The Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT) together with the South African Border Police and brand enforcement agencies have bust a major pirate DVD syndicate.

Some of the pirated DVDs confiscated by police during the recent bust in Johannesburg. Photo: mybroadband.co.za
Some of the pirated DVDs confiscated by police during the recent bust in Johannesburg. Photo: mybroadband.co.za

This comes after a supplier of counterfeit films and music was identified and investigated.

According to a recent article published in MyBroadband, operations conducted in the central Johannesburg suburb of Fordsburg and its surrounding areas found the supplier in possession of over 3 600 discs, packaged and ready for distribution on the streets of Gauteng province. Numerous other counterfeit products were also seized during the operation.

SAFACT said a suspect appeared in court on 9 March and the case was remanded pending further investigation.

The federation warned that when consumers buy pirated films, they are supporting organised crime and criminal syndicates. SAFACT MD Jacques Allers warned criminals that action will be taken against all perpetrators under copyright legislation, and, in certain instances, fraud laws.

"Piracy kills jobs, opportunities, and sustainable income for honest workers in the creative industry,” said a SAFACT spokesperson. “Piracy is not only illegal, but it robs honest and legitimate businesses of their income."

The loss to the local entertainment industry caused by piracy is estimated at R200 million (about US$12,5 million) per year.

SAFACT is an NGO that helps pursue legal actions against film, music and game pirates and promotes awareness campaigns, working closely with industry bodies such as the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA) and the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO). It is one of numerous campaigns that have emerged over the past decade to fight music piracy in South Africa.

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